Tag Archives: unemployed

A Little Bit is A Lot.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.  ~Edmund Burke

One of my favourite things in every career I’ve had (there have been a few..)  is that I’ve had the ability to assist others in some respect.   At one point I worked in not-for-profit and loved it.  During my time in the music business, I organized fundraising events, concerts, food drives and other helpful things.  Often, these were the “best” parts of my job. 

As well as my media/marketing experience, I also have a background in Volunteer Management.  I have both been a volunteer (Girl Guides, Scouts, etc) and organized volunteers.  I enjoy the experience of helping others.  Most of the time when I’ve ended up helping out, it’s because someone had to do it. It’s as simple as that.  We need a parent to work the book fair.. well, someone has to.. I have the time and ability.. so sure.  I’ve had a bunch of charitable experiences.. from sitting on volunteer boards and committees to  being a Brownie leader.. to sponsoring a child in another country.  My experience with volunteering, or with assisting anyone for that matter, is that you don’t do it with any expectation for yourself other than a genuine desire to help.

In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.  ~Karl Reiland12for12k-banner3-1

A couple of weeks ago, one of my Twitter friends, Jon Aston (@Jon_Aston on Twitter) was looking for “ten good people” to help out with The 12 for 12K Challenge.  I had seen the logo on Twitter in various peoples’ profile photos and noticed it on their Twitter pages, but really didn’t know a heck of a lot about it, so I asked about it.  And I asked Jon what he wanted these “ten good people” to “do”.

The 12 for 12K Challenge is the brainchild of Branding and Social Media Expert Danny Brown.  The concept is very simple. Using social media the participants would raise $144,000 in 2009.  Each month a different charity would be the recipient of the funds raised. 

At this point, I’d just like to say that I’m not writing this with the intention of saying “Look at me! I’m so great!” (Hey, we all know I do that every day anyway…. plus, most of you already know how awesome I am since I tell you regularly, but I digress…) 

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  ~Winston Churchill

Here’s why I’m writing this:  all I had to do was commit $10 a month. Seriously. $10. And of course, it would be nice if I could spread the word about the movement. So I said yes.  I can do $10.  Not hard to find.  A few less Tim Horton’s coffees.  A couple less beer, one less bottle of wine..  (ok, let’s not get ridiculous)…

The point I’m making is this.  I’m unemployed at the moment.  It’s $10. That’s all. If I can do it, so can you. Part of my reason for joining in is that I feel I haven’t done ENOUGH lately… and I figured I could use the good karma.  But whatever the reason, it’s a simple thing to do. $10 once a month. Easy. It’s just a little bit… but if everyone does a little bit, it will be a LOT.

This month’s charity is UNICEF.  So, what are you waiting for?  Go now! I’m not joking.  Click on the links! Donate! Honest, you’ll feel good.  www.12for12K.org  You can donate via credit card or by PayPal.

 Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.  ~Dr. Seuss

Life: Nothing to report other than I have already made my $10 donation!
Love: See above.
Pants: Lots of dog walking this week. Yay!
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ABC’s of Me.

A – Age: 45

B – Bed size: Queen .. only sleep on about a third due to Mocha the WonderDog

C – Chore you hate: Weeding.  Folding Laundry

D – Dream vacation spot: Italy.. anyplace to see stuff.

E- Essential start your day item: pee, then coffee.. update FB status. LOL.

F – Favourite colour(s): RED and black

G – Gold or Silver: Gold. I can only wear gold. Allergic to all other metals

H – Height: 5’4”.  But people always think I’m taller .. it’s my large head.

I – Instruments you play: Yamaha Rhythm Organ circa 1978.  Used to play classical flute.

J – Job title: Evil Genius.  Professional Smart Ass.  Marketing/Promo  

K – Kid(s): 1 beautiful girl named Katy – 19.. and a gorgeous boy named Josh who will be 14 in a week! Yikes!

L – Living arrangement: Me and Mocha living in Barrie at the moment…

M – Mom’s name: Sheila.. long name is Dora Ann Sheila Bernadette… the Irish like to go by the middle name.

N – Nicknames: Bethany, Kubby, Bessie, Evil,  

O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Tonsils, 2 kids, Nasal surgery.. and that time I did the medical study and had to sleep at McMaster 4 times. I had to stay for 24 hours while they examined my stomach contents.  I was paid $1000 and used it to go to South America.

P – Pet Peeve: bad drivers, rude people

Q – Quote from a movie: “Get busy living or get busy dying” – Shawshank Redemption

From Field of Dreams:

Ray Kinsella: So what do you want?
Terence Mann: I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.
Ray Kinsella: No, I mean, what do you WANT?
[Gestures to the concession stand they’re in front of]
Terence Mann: Oh. Dog and a beer.

R – Right or left handed: right

S – Siblings: 2 sisters.. Barb and Lara

T – Time you wake up: Most days around 7-ish. Depends..

U – Underwear: generally, lace booty shorts.

V – Vegetable you dislike: not a big fan of carrots.  But like most veggies.

W – Workout style: Lazy. Super lazy. I try.. but.. I’m lazy.

X – X-rays you’ve had: teeth, collar bone, pelvis, cat scans..

Y – Yesterday’s best moment: Talking on the phone with my BFF

Z – Zoo favorite: I like all the big cats.

Ya Gotta Have Friends…

“Friend – a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection and loyalty.” – Collins English Dictionary

I had the opportunity to get together with a friend this week… I had not seen her in months as we no longer live close.. she lives out of the country during the winter months…

Karen and I have been friends for about 12 years.. and we’ve been through a lot together.. tough times, moving, fiances, weddings, divorces, falling in love, falling out of love, laughter, tears and many, many bottles of wine. We spent the evening catching up on everything that had been happening in the last several months.. and once again there was laughter, a few tears.. and of course, the ever present wine.

I’ve had many friends over the years.. check my “friends list” on Facebook.. there are 834 at the present count. These are “friends” from grade school, high school, various jobs, the music industry, and various and sundry misadventures associated with all of them. I would consider everyone on my friend list a friend of some regard.. but when FB installed the friend categories.. I was a little stumped at how to “group” people (so I have not.. ) but this combined with my Karen visit got me thinking about the various friendships I have had over the years.

My first best friend was Julie. One day I just walked into her back yard while she was having a tea party with her mom and uncle. We became fast friends at the age of three.. had our first sleepovers together… played “wedding” (I was always the groom as I had short hair and she was the girly girl..)… first day of school together. We were BFFs until grade 3.. she went to that grade.. I went directly to grade four. The social hierarchy changed.. and I was now running with a different crowd.. interestingly, Julie became BFFs with my sister.. and they are still friends.

I have always had a lot of male friends.. not as many “girl” friends. The first friends I hung out with regularly were the neighbourhood boys.. Stevie, Brian, Mario and Marky. We would play “Flintstones” and climb trees and ride bikes and do cool stuff where you got dirty. I was more of a tomboy and preferred that to playing the groom in various wedding or house scenarios. But then again.. I skipped a grade and.. got new friends.

Through grades 4-8 and into high school I pretty much hung out with the same group of girls.. Bambi, Crystal, Trish and Starr (yes, real names..) But I always had different “groups” of friends.. there were always the male friends… the groups of girls.. the kids in band and math club.. different friends for different social situations… Grades 7/8 and into high school, Lynn was one of my best buddies.. Judy and I were friends all through grade school and beyond…

In high school there was a group of 11 girls… Bambi named us “The Natural Highs”.. each one of us had a flavour name.. Vanilla, Chocolate, Butterscotch.. etc.. I was Cinnamon. We hung out, partied… had fun. But I always felt not quite comfortable with “girl” friends.. just a certain element of competition I guess.

I preferred hanging out with the boys.. Craig, Tony, Mike and Joe. Sitting in Mike’s basement listening to CFNY and “punk”.. Elton Motello, the Pistols, Jane County and the Electric Chairs.. all the interesting music Mike’s older brother turned our way.. we had a lot of fun together. Plus, Craig was my boyfriend.. so the making out factor certainly weighed into the equation.

And of course, I must mention my spare period BFF and Hallway patrol partner Steve. We’d randomly stop younger kids asking to see their hall passes (we didn’t have them at our school).. just because we were silly. Stephen and I are still friends.. which makes me very happy.

In college I was inseparable from Avril.. we did everything together. Talked, partied, school work.. you name it.. we liked to spend time with Wayne, John and Paul.. roommates who lived in her building. And of course we hung out with people in our class.. Al, Tony, John… George .. (please notice I remember all the guys and not so much the girls…) Oddly, still keep in touch with a few people from college, but most weren’t in my class. Funny that. And through the magic of Facebook have had the pleasure of catching up and reconnecting with a few.

I’ve made friends wherever I’ve gone.. some good friends, some great friends.. some for the time being and some for what seems like forever. I have people still in my life that I’ve known for 25, 30 years or more.. there has to be a reason why I think. Some connection that just never goes away. I met my friend Mark when we were dating members of the same family.. those relationships broke up.. he and I wound up working together.. and through years and distance and everything else we somehow end up still staying in touch after more than 25 years. Crazy.

I just find it interesting thinking about what makes people friends.. and what KEEPS them friends. One of my best friends ever is named Ami. She and I became friends by happenstance.. she phoned my house one night for a business reason and I answered the phone by yelling into it “TURN ON CHANNEL THREE!! RANDY BACHMAN IS ON THE SIMPSONS!!” I can’t recall if I was just excited that I knew someone on the Simpsons or if I thought she was someone else.. We quickly became fast friends.. and I was even the maid of honour at her wedding. But, with moves.. and career changes and everything that happens in life.. we’ve drifted apart. Completely my fault I believe. One of my personal goals for the not too distant future will be to reconnect with Ami. I miss her a lot. (Please note that instead of procrastinating about this, I actually found her phone number and called her .. like.. just now. I got her machine and I left her a goofy message involving me singing a song about her, eating some ribs and other nonsense. I am not right in the head. You already knew that.)

I think sometimes many friendships are based on convenience.. whether or not you see those people regularly. I know that since I moved north, there are BFFs that I don’t hear from as often. And of course since my employment situation changed there are another whole bunch that I have not been as close to. It happens. But the people I consider my true friends are the ones who make the effort to keep in touch.. to touch base.. to see how you are. Mind you, I’ve had friendships that have “gone by the wayside” because of location, distance.. what have you.. One of my best friends in my 20’s .. Mona/Lisa (depending on how you know her..) and I have always attempted to keep in touch and often go years without seeing each other.. but we somehow pick up where we left off.

“Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.” – Aristotle

It’s only in my adult life that I’ve had good “girlfriends”.. women with whom I can commisserate about men, love, children, female crap… the whole kit and caboodle..

Kelly was my first “grown up” girl friend I think.. interestingly, she was the ex girlfriend of the man I married.. she was in my wedding party.. I love her to death. She lives in Singapore now and we’ve done the “drifting apart”.. another person who I’d like to see back in my life.

Jennifer and I met many years ago .. and ended up working together years later.. and quickly became best friends. She’s a combination of friend and surrogate daughter for me.. hence my title “the new mommy”. We’ve been through ridiculous amounts of fun and pain together .. and there are more adventures on the way I’m sure.. what with me moving.. and her having a baby and all.. even though we’re in different cities at the moment we still manage to stay connected.

Carmen and I met and became instant friends.. we talk often and somehow just have that “click” .. I guess you’d call it.. just immediate camraderie. We started calling each other BFF’s immediately .. and we really are.

Cathy and I met many years ago and our paths have crossed enough times that we figured out that we are likely meant to be friends for life. We’ve been there for each other enough times to know.

Interestingly, one of my best friends is also an “ex”.. Fernando and I were together for a few years and shared a lot.. split last year and it was tough. But now we are in a place where we really are best friends. Which makes me happy that we didn’t have to cut each other out of our lives.

The person I call my “heterosexual life partner”.. is my friend Jodi.. We met through work several years ago.. and coincidentally lived in the same neighbourhood.. and again, just one of those “clicks”. We will often joke that we wish one of us was a man, or we were both gay.. because then I’m certain we’d be spending our lives together .. and hence the “heterosexual life partner”.. we spend all major holidays together and this past Christmas renamed our unusual family unit “The Warrcrookens” – a combination of both our last names.. Jodi and I have had more than our share of misadventures. I believe this weekends’ involves liquor and tattoos. No, not kidding.

And I also have a huge group of what I call “virtual friends”.. people with whom I speak with literally every day but don’t see in person.. people who probably know more about me than people who see me in person regularly.. Evan.. Irvine..Kelly…. Michelle.. my new friend Kyle.. and a few others … people who I consider to also be great friends despite distance or lack of physical contact.

I guess the common thread with any friendship is stuff in common.. I know that with all of the friendships I cherish, its likely the easy ability to laugh..and of course love.. Laughter is my favourite thing in the world.. if you can make me laugh.. we’ll get along fine..

I have a plaque on my hallway wall that reads “A friend is a gift you give yourself”. It was a gift from Ami years ago. It fell at one point and broke but I glued it together again and put it back up. and I guess I kind of think of laughter and love as the glue that will hopefully put back together some of those neglected and broken friendships.. fingers crossed.

Life: Is in flux. Glad to have so many good friends to lean on during the tough times.
Love: I believe love is friendship on fire. I read that on a travel mug or bumper sticker somewhere. Yeah, its very uh.. mushy. LOL
Pants: Pretty much all of my friends wear pants. Just an FYI.

So did I tell you about the time…?

I am one of those people who has weird things happen to me. Like, one time I met both Geddy Lee and Flavor Flav in one weekend.. and Chuck D took the pic of me and Flav! See. Photographic evidence. He was very polite and respectful. However I still do not understand what chicks see in him… but I digress…
So, weird things happen to me.. I meet famous people.. I win stuff… but sometimes I do NOT win stuff. That part is just sad.
Here’s what happened…… I lost 2 million dollars in the last year and a half. I KNOW! The most recent time was on Lotto 6/49.. IF ONLY THE 7 HAD BEEN A 4!! I play the Encore each time.. I know some people think it’s not worth it, but I know someone who knows someone who DIDN’T play the Encore and did NOT win the million. And to make matters worse, her corner store posted a sign in their window that said “JOAN SMITH LOST A MILLION DOLLARS HERE BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO CHEAP TO SPEND THE EXTRA BUCK ON ENCORE! DUMB BITCH!!” or something along that line……
So, I played Encore… my number was 1357699… and the Encore number was 1354699. ONE FREAKING NUMBER AWAY FROM A MILLION DOLLARS. You’d think that you’d get some good freakin’ cash wouldn’t ya? Nope. $10 and a free ticket. BITE ME ONTARIO LOTTERY CORPORATION!!
But, previous to that…… flashback to September 2007….. I land in Regina to go to Canadian Country Music Week. Of course, the first stop is the liquor store… and as am perusing the fine liquor selection, my cell phone rings…
“Hello?”
“Hi, I’m looking for Elizabeth Warren… this is Patricia from ‘Are You Smarter Than A Canadian 5th Grader'”…
“I’ve been waiting for your call….”
Yeah, I really did say that…..
So we proceed to have a charming conversation.. all the while I’m doing a little dancy dance in the Regina booze store.. WOOHOO! I am going to be on a freakin’ game show and win TONS of money!! Because I AM SMARTER THAN A CANADIAN FIFTH GRADER!!!
I am charming and hilarious and Patricia is laughing.. she finds my answer re: what’s the first thing you’d spend the money on to be hysterical.. I said I’d buy my son a trampoline (that is the deal if I win a lot of money.. I think that’s getting off cheap…) She asks me to come to Toronto to do a screentest for the show…. I AM A SHOO IN!!!
THEN comes the proverbial bucket of cold water…. “Great! so you can be in Toronto the day after tomorrow?”
silence.
“Uh, I’m in Regina for a conference…”
“Can you come back?”
“Not till Monday…”
“Oh. We’ll be done by then……”
Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn!
So I lost a million bucks. But it makes for a good story.
And if truth be told, I would have settled for $250K.
Life: No real change. It`s pretty ok.
Love: Only boys on the internet. More on this later.
Pants: Down 4 lbs since yesterday. My secret? Weigh yourself fully clothed at night and then naked the next morning. Gives ya a nice “kickstart”….

Twenty Dollars?!? You Got an Ass that Won’t Quit….

So. 2008 was a helluva year.

To summarize:

  • Moved 2 hours away from my children and friends to work at a job I loved
  • Lived in someone’s basement for 6 months
  • Got dumped by my boyfriend
  • Discovered that I was horribly allergic to Ibuprofen to the point where I used my EpiPen several times and looked like a misshapen freak.
  • My father was diagnosed with Leukemia
  • Bought a house
  • My daughter came to live with me in Barrie.
  • Got canned from the job I no longer loved
  • Bought a car
  • Put the house up for sale
  • Made plans to get outta Dodge.

Those are the highlights. Or the lowlights. Depending on how you look at it, I guess.

Suffice it to say that 2008 has not been my favourite years of those I have lived. I’m forty fuckin’ four, unemployed, unattached and somewhat uninspired. Of the “uns” the only one I am NOT is underweight.

I have time on my hands.. and I figure that being the computer junkie that I am that I can use it somewhat constructively to evaluate what the hell is going on with my life through blogging. Or use it to mock others. Or waste time. Or post porn. Guess it will depend on my mood and how much I’ve had to drink.

The title you ask? Life would be fairly obvious I would think, but if you are marginally challenged, I shall explain… it will have to do with what is going on in my life.

Love .. *sigh*. Commenting on my love life. Or lack thereof more than likely. This is a touchy topic. Oh wait. There is nothing to report. Problem solved.

Pants. Who doesn’t love pants? They have pockets.. you can put things in them! I found $20 in mine today! It was freshly laundered. I used that $20 to buy the bottle of wine I am now consuming .. and had enough change left to… uh.. put back in my pants. Pants also has to do with the fact that I’d like to fit into smaller pants. So I am going to work on that as well.

Bottom line.. I suck at New Year’s Resolutions. I’m thinking if I write about it and post it where others can witness it, maybe I’ll be forced to live up to them. So here they are in all their glory:

  • Get a job. Preferably one I love and can utilize my skills – mocking others and my insane knowledge of useless trivial information. I am thinking “game show host”.
  • Move. I love the house I bought. LOVE IT. That’s the biggest bitch about this whole deal. However, I want to live closer to Waterloo where I can see my kids more regularly and be near my friends and people that I love. Do they have any game shows in Waterloo?
  • Find me a boyfriend. I like boys. A lot. However, I seem to be somewhat smarter than many of them and this seems to scare them off. Or it’s my insane good looks. Or my lack of ego. Or the fact that I have spent the last month in my rec room and actually don’t meet humans. I am also removing myself from any internet dating crap (more on that another time). Time to put on my big girl pants and meet aforementioned humans.
  • Adopt a healthier lifestyle. i.e. more veggies, less crap, less liquor (unless it’s a special occasion, like, Tuesday..) more exercise. This will be my greatest challenge as you actually have to get off the couch….

So..

Life? meh.. could be worse.
Love? I have many people who love me. I’m sure it will all work out eventually.
Pants? I lost 3 pounds over the holidays and I found $20 in my jeans today. I think that’s a good start.